Natural gas supplier costs drop

Spokane-based utility Avista Corp., which supplies natural gas to the Rogue Valley, today reported net income of $31 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared to net income of $25.2 million for the first quarter of 2008.

The company plans to request regulators to lower prices for Washington and Idaho customers, said Avista Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Morris in a statement. He did not address Oregon rates.

"Hydroelectric generation during the first quarter of 2009 was significantly better as compared to the first quarter of 2008," said Morris. "Based upon current snowpack conditions and projected stream flows, we expect hydroelectric generation to be near normal for 2009. We are also experiencing lower purchased power and fuel prices, as well as a decrease in natural gas costs."

— Greg Stiles

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